Right off the bat, let’s make one thing clear: there’s no easy way to get your driver’s license; you’ll have to undergo the same exact process as everyone else in your state. That being said, there are ways to make getting your driver’s license easier, which, of course, involves a lot more studying and being ahead of the curve. But don’t worry, it will all be worth it!
While different states might have very slightly different requirements, the general process remains the same, here’s what to expect:
Step 1: Driver’s Education Classes
Before anything, you’ll have to go through Driver’s Ed classes. Depending on the state, driver’s education classes are usually mandatory for people under the age of 17 and a half and can be taken as early as the age of 15 and a half. It’s also available for adult learners, as the class has no age restriction. Driver’s education classes cover all of the basic lessons you need to be safe on the road: traffic lights and signs, how to operate a vehicle, and a rundown of the basic traffic laws and violations you’ll have to be familiar with. This class can be accomplished both in a classroom and online, provided that the facility giving the driver’s education class is certified by the DMV. Driver’s Education classes take 25 hours minimum.
Once you finish Driver’s Ed, you’ll be given a completion certificate that you can take to the DMV, where you can begin the process of getting your license.
Step 2: Take the Learner’s Permit Test
Now it’s time to take the learner’s test. The first step in doing this is to make an appointment either over the phone or online. This will help you minimize the time you need to wait in the DMV, and can make the process of taking the exam smoother.
Once you give the DMV your required documents, thumbprints, photos, and other information, you’ll be given an eye exam to see if your vision is good enough for the road. Once they determine you’re not legally blind, you’ll be given the written permit test. The test consists of 46 questions and you’ll need to get 39 or higher to pass the test. It’s a multiple-choice with 3 choices per question, and every question must be answered.
But don’t worry, there are practice tests available online for you to review with. Most of the exams will be common sense, and the only thing you’ll really have to brush up on are the measurements for different distances. However, keep in mind that the test wants you to pass; they’re not out here to confuse you!
Step 3: Driver’s Training
Once you’ve completed and passed the learner’s permit exam (congratulations, by the way!), you’ll now be ready for driver’s training. Driver’s training is the hands-on part of your driver’s education and will involve you driving for a certain number of hours in order to complete it.
Driver’s training is a requirement for a license, and will require 6 hours of professional, 1-on-1 training with a licensed instructor. This 6-hour lesson is usually split into three 2-hour long sessions that you can take up on your own time (I scheduled it over 3 weekends).
When you’ve completed the mandatory 6-hour lesson, you’ll now have to complete 50 hours of supervised driving with a parent, guardian, or any person over the age of 25 with a driver’s license. Out of the 50 hours, 10 of them have to be completed at night. These 50 hours are to be completed on your own time, meaning that the completion is done under an honor system. Don’t cheat this part: those 50 hours will be crucial in providing you with experience you need to be a safe and efficient driver.
As soon as you finish both, you’ll be ready to take the driver’s license exam!
Step 4: Take the Driver’s License Exam
It’s now time to take the driver’s license exam. For this, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old (with 6 months minimum of having a learner’s permit), have completed both the driver’s education classes (which will give you driver completion certificates), an insured car (you’re required to have proof of insurance inside the car), 6 hours of driver’s training, and 50 hours of logged driving time.
The test will involve basic driving principles, including arm signals, proper braking, proper use of headlights and emergency flashers, and a basic understanding of traffic laws. Again, the test is not designed to confuse you; instructors are there to make sure you follow all proper guidelines and procedures. Points will be taken off if your instructor intervenes, but in general, it’s a quick test and if you follow all the guidelines and rules, you will pass it easily.
Pro tip: use a car with automatic transmission, as these are easier to drive and thus, easier to pass in. Keep your phone turned OFF at all times, as this can be an automatic fail.
As you can see, it does take time for you to get your driver’s license; again, this article is not about getting it quicker, but rather, we’re here to talk about the easiest way to get your driver’s license and the easiest way to do it? Well, it involves hard work and advanced studying. It’s not the answer you want, but hey, it’s the best one there is.
Brush Up On Your Driver’s Education Lessons
Everything you’ll need to pass both the learner’s permit exam and the driving exam will be covered in your driver’s education classes. These classes will usually have handouts, study guides, and a driver’s handbook, all of which you’ll need to pass both exams. These reading materials are meant to be understood easily, so don’t worry there won’t be a lot of heavy reading (which isn’t to say, there are no readings, it’s just going to be easy readings).
Practice the Tests Online
There are tons of online DMV practice tests for you to hone your driving knowledge before the big day. These online practice tests are designed to help you retain and review all the things you learned in driver’s ed classes. Don’t skip this part, reviewing for a test is always a good idea.
Don’t Cheat the Supervised Driving
The 50 hours of supervised driving is done with an honor system: that means the DMV is trusting you to complete it the way it’s supposed to be. Of course, it can be tempting to cheat this, but trust me: don’t.
Not only are those 50 hours going to go a long way to helping you become a more-than-just competent driver and will definitely help you pass the driving exam easily. Completing the 50 hours of supervised driving is the easiest way to get your driver’s license, just make sure you document all those hours so you can easily prove it to the DMV! Take note of dates, times, and miles driven for each practice run.